Wednesday, April 9, 2008

To sleep or not to sleep.

This weekend, I was talking with some friends about kids birthday parties. The subject turned to slumber parties, and we all have the same rule about our kids not attending sleep over parties. 
Last year, CJ was invited to a slumber party, and we let him go to the party, but brought him home at 11:00 p.m.
What is your policy on this subject?

All the talk about slumber parties made me remember back to a few I went to as a child.

When I was turning 12, I begged my mom to let me have a slumber party for my birthday. She finally agreed, and I ended up falling asleep at 10:00 and my friends stayed up really late. In the morning, everyone was mad at me because they said I wouldn't talk to them. Apparently, I sleep with my eyes slightly open, and they thought I was really awake when they were talking to me, and just ignoring them.

When I was 8, my mom said I could invite my three cousins to sleep over at our house one Friday night. I saw them at school that day and invited them to come over that night. 
I started playing with one of my friends at recess and thought of how much fun it would be if she came over also, so I invited her too. Then I saw another friend at lunch............
I think you can see where this is going.
I'm not sure why I didn't mention anything to my mom about the extra 5 girls I had invited over. I guess my my 8 year old brain actually believed that she wouldn't mind having 9 giggly and squealy little girls sleeping at our house that night.
Imagine my mom's surprise when the first girl showed up at our front door carrying a sleeping bag and pillow.
Then the next one............
And the next one.........
Poor mom.

My favorite sleep over memory was when my cousin M invited me and our other cousin A over to her house. I think we were about 8. 
We thought it would be really cool to stay up all night. We watched the Friday night horror movie double feature. By the end of the second one, A had fallen asleep. All of the television stations had signed off by then, so me and M played board games to try to keep ourselves awake. 
We finally decided to check the clock to see how much longer it would be until morning.

It was 3:00 a.m.

We thought that was SO cool. We had stayed up until 3:00 in the morning!
That's practically all night!
It was SO exciting!
We were positive that we were the only kids EVER to have stayed up that late!

We couldn't contain our joy at this accomplishment, so we went upstairs and woke up my aunt to tell her that it was 3:00 a.m. and WE WERE STILL AWAKE!

I still remember the pained look on my sweet aunt's face as she opened one eye, squinting from the bright light of the hallway which was shining directly on her face as she said:

"WHAT?!............................... go to sleep you guys."

Apparently is wasn't as exciting for her as it was for us.


Bonnie said...

We do late overs at our house too.
I do it mostly for the protecction of my children. I know where they are and who they are with.
I do have to admit as a child I had so much fun having sleepovrs with my cousin. We still remember the stupid jokes we told and all the giggling. We also remember what my grandma would come in and say tous. Good times,good times.

Becky said...

Outside of grandma's house and a select couple of cousin's homes, the only other place he can stay over is my good friend's home. She has two boys around his age, and shares our exact same values as we do, and our boys have been buddies since they were little.

We do allow our son to attend birthday parties with school buddies, but never to stay over, and usually have legitimate reasons lined up as to why he can't. We are often busy with church or family activities or extended family gatherings (we have a large extended family) that give him plenty of social interaction outside of school, and he's never felt like he's missing out on anything.

utmomof5 said...

We do not sleep overs except cousins or at Grandma's house. I will do late nights but no sleep overs.
Mostly because I remember that is where I "learned" way more things than I think my parents wanted me to know. Unfortunalty the world is just a little to different than it was when I was a kids.

Davis Family said...

I remember all the great sleep overs I had growing up. But they were always with one of my cousins, or a very select few of my friends. It was like pulling teeth to get my mom let let us have a sleep over.

But when I was a child one of those awful horror stories where children were "taken advantage" of shall we say...happened right down the street from me, in an LDS home. After that, sleep overs didn't happen in my neighborhood.

I think I will only let my children have sleepovers at Grandma's house, or maybe with a cousin. Late nights are fine, I had those all the time when I was growing up.

It's just different now for our kids then it was when we were children.

Sue said...

I'm not sure what I think about sleepovers. I'm sort of - postponing that whole decision until they are older. I had so much fun at sleepovers as a kid, but - I just don't know.

Lois said...

I must admit that I let my kid go to sleepovers, but she had to be 10 before I let her and I have to know the family. (Note that I didn't say that we HAVE sleepovers. I don't want someone waking me up at 3 AM all proud of themselves for staying up so late!)

C.J. said...

Were you actually asleep? Or were you really ignoring them?

Jill said...

Dear CJ,
I really was asleep. That was back when I was actually able to sleep. You know, BEFORE I had children.

Love, (your sleep deprived) Mom

Leah said...

I'm torn on the issue. My experience with GOING to sleepovers when I was kid is that SOME kids have a blast, SOME kids feel left out, and that sleepovers with girls ALWAYS involves some sort of drama. My experience with HOSTING sleepovers (as a teenager) is that the other girls don't give a hoot what MY family rules were and used the opportunity to sneak out, try to sneak in alcohol, etc. In 7th grade, at a friend's birthday party slumber party, they all snuck out of the house at midnight. I was too afraid of getting in trouble so stayed downstairs all by myself wishing desperately I'd never come in the first place. Apparently I fell asleep while I was waiting for them all to come back and the next morning I found my bra frozen solid in a cup of water (ice) in the freezer.

I would HOPE that my children would choose to just stay home downstairs alone rather than follow the crowd and sneak out, but you just never know... I'm a rather protective parent just don't see myself as likely to let my child go to a slumber party unless it was at a family's house I knew REALLY well. And who had an alarm system to alert parents of SNEAKER OUTERS!!

Hey It's Di said...

The kids around here don't do sleepovers like we did back in my day. THANK GOODNESS! Every once and a while my kids will stay over at the cousins house or grandma' though.

I remember going to a "slumber" party and the mother was giving a prize for the first one asleep. Well, of course I love to win, so I went to sleep at promptly 7 p.m. I guess I missed the real fun:( But got the prize:)

Jen said...

I'm thinking I'll only allow them at my house or at extended family's. One of my younger sisters wet the bed at a friends house, and another just got too scared and had to come home.

3 am? On second thought, maybe just over at my sister's house...

Melissa said...

We have done sleep overs, but I think it's about to stop. It's just too crazy... everyone is tired and cranky the next day when we do them here. And when Red goes to a friends house, he comes home being ornery!

Jessica G. said...

I remember lots of sleepovers...which is probably why I won't let my kids go to one, unless I pick them up, like you did. Besides, they make kids grumpy the whole next day.

A favorite sleepover activity of ours was toilet-papering. Yeah...don't tell my mom. And then there was the time I spent the night with my cousins when we were 9 and we watched Nightmare of Elm Street. I don't think I slept for a week after that.

Damama T said...

Oh I remember those slumber party days... not my kids'. MINE! My Girl had a couple of friends over a few times, but they thought I was a mean mom and didn't want to come here anymore. Seems other parents would let them go wandering the streets all night. AACK! I just don't think there's anyting good that can come of a bunch of 13 & 14 YOs roaming the streets at 2 a.m. Like I said - mean mom! ;o)